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Scottish Water
Type State-owned company
Founded 2002
Headquarters Dunfermline
Key people Richard Ackroyd CEO, Ronnie Mercer Chairman
Industry Water supply

Scottish Water is a statutory corporation[1] in Scotland that provides water and sewerage services. Unlike in England and Wales, water and sewerage provision in Scotland has not been privatised and is owned by the Scottish Government.

Juniper House, Edinburgh

Although the company is state owned, Scottish Water is bench marked against the performance of private water companies in England and Wales. It has over the last 4 years (2002-2006) delivered significant improvements in service and nearly £1 billion of operational and capital efficiencies[2]. In 2006-2007 its average household charge for 2006-2007 was lower than in England and Wales (£287 compared with £294)[3].

Scottish Water operates under a regulatory framework established by the Water Services etc. (Scotland) Act 2005 allowing an economic regulator, the Water Industry Commission for Scotland, to set the cost of the service independently. The Water Industry Commission for Scotland establishes the "lowest overall reasonable cost" through a benchmarking exercise with private water companies operating in England and Wales. Scottish Water has a right of appeal against this price setting process through a reference to the UK Competition Commission.

A waste water treatment works

The Drinking Water Quality Regulator for Scotland and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency also regulate Scottish Water. Waterwatch Scotland represents the interest of Scottish Water's customers and has powers to investigate complaints

The current organisation was founded in 2002 by a merger of West of Scotland Water, East of Scotland Water and North of Scotland Water. Scottish Water provides clean safe drinking water to 2.2 million households and 130,000 business customers in Scotland. Every day it supplies 2.3 billion litres of treated drinking water and takes away nearly one billion litres of waste water from customers' properties and treats it carefully before returning it safely to the environment. It has an annual turnover of around £1bn and funded by charges paid by its customers and borrowing it receives from the Scottish Government.

The three authorities were merged by the Water Industry (Scotland) Act 2002, an Act of the Scottish Parliament.


  1. ^
  2. ^ Water Industry Commission (2007) Cost and Performance Report 2003-2006 (
  3. ^ Information available from the Scottish Government Website at or from Scottish Water's independent economic regulator - the Water Imdustry Commission for Scotland website

External links



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